They Just Won’t Die: Dark Web Drug Sellers Resist Police Crackdowns
For over six years, law enforcement agencies in the US, Europe and other parts of the world have been cracking down on digital marketplaces where narcotics and other illegal goods are being exchanged. However, the efforts have done little in the way of preventing the trade of illicit goods and services on the dark web.
In fact, the battle against online drug markets is beginning to look a lot like the war on drugs being waged in the physical realm. Law enforcement agencies regularly conduct raids in order to take down websites and arrest the people involved in the underground market places. But the effects are short-lived, since the take-down of one platform usually leads to the growth of other market places or the establishment of new ones.
According to Emily Wilson of Terbium Labs, “the instability has become sort of baked into the dark-web market experience” because “people don’t get quite as scared by it as they did the first few times” when platforms were taking down. Nowadays people just accept it when a major market place is seized by authorities. Instead of backing out, they look for alternatives.